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Texas Lawyer Reports on Texas Mutual Sanctions Case

On the front page of today’s Texas Lawyer, reporter Mary Alice Robbins profiled our Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Narvaez case, which was recently reversed by the 5th Court in Dallas. The trial court had sanctioned Texas Mutual for altering a medical record, then using the doctored record at trial in the Narvaez matter. The trial court’s awarded $30,000 in sanctions to our client, Juan Narvaez, and further ordered Texas Mutual to post a copy of the sanctions order on its web site. In addition to reversing the sanction order, the 5th Court reversed summary judgment in favor of Mr. Narvaez. We intend to file a motion for rehearing, and potentially seek review in the Texas Supreme Court. If the 5th Court’s decision stands, the end result will be that the case will be remanded to be tried in the trial court. We are hopeful that Texas Mutual will chose not to use the “annotated” as they phrase it medical record the next time.

Interestingly, the stated basis for the 5th Court’s decision was that Narvaez did not establish that the alterations to the medical record were fraudulent or false, not that Texas Mutual somehow didn’t alter the document. As Mike said in his quote, “It doesn’t say that they didn’t do it. It just says they shouldn’t be punished for it.” Our appellate counsel on the case was Rick Thompson of Hankinson Levinger, and he did a great job presenting the issues. We are hopeful the 5th Court will reconsider its decision on rehearing.
You can read the article in the print version or log on to Texas Lawyer and let us know what you think.